Believe it or not, Earth Day is around the corner, with still enough time to plan for a truly amazing and meaningful celebration! This year Earth Day is mid-week, on Wednesday April 22, 2015 - a great time to mark the occasion at your school or office. Are you in a green school or workplace that already manifests an eco culture? If so, Earth Day can be a time of reflection and celebration of these year-round efforts. It can also be a time to re-think, re-commit and renew efforts. If you are working or studying in an environment that is still trying to be a bit greener, Earth Day can be a great occasion to come together and brainstorm. Here are some ideas to help your group make this Earth Day the best one ever. Hope you have your EcoSmart non-toxic, refillable markers on hand!
Idea #1: Create a Hall of Ideas
Since you still have ample time before Earth Day on April 22, consider making a live exhibit where staff and students are invited to contribute their thoughts on an open question such as: Why is Earth Day important? What changes do you want to see for the Earth? and How will you celebrate Earth Day? The Hall of Ideas can be made out of craft paper, bulletin boards or whiteboards. Document the wall with time-lapse video or still images and consult on how to follow up on the ideas and sentiments presented.
Idea #2: Connect with the Community[caption id="attachment_6575" align="alignright" width="300"] Courtesy of Inhabitat.com[/caption]
Contact your city officials to see how your school or company can contribute to the community and make its green efforts more widely known. For example, if there is a city-wide Earth Day celebration being planned, are there possibilities for your staff or students to be of service? Alternatively, maybe your school or office could adopt a road or trail, contribute a bench, or plant a tree or garden in the city. If there is a local topic of environmental concern, perhaps your group could brainstorm for solutions and write to the City Hall.
Idea #3: Focus your energies on a specific theme
It may be hard to talk about saving the environment in a general and abstract way. What does that mean? Maybe if your group has advanced in recycling efforts and creating less waste, for example, then why not shift to another area of capacity-building? Food waste in the US and Canada is at an all-time high. Maybe this year's Earth Day efforts can center around a theme, with a goal to raise awareness and take specific action. When we view stewardship of the earth as capacity-building, then our activities can be more easily actionable.
Idea #4: Make pre-Earth Day count[caption id="attachment_6577" align="alignright" width="258"] Courtesy of EcoHeroKids.com[/caption]
Use this time leading up to Earth Day to run a contest, plan an event or have a campaign. Using the arts, you could choose from several contests of poetry, visual arts, writing, coloring, video or photography. You could organize a Tedx series of talks with an environmental theme, or run a campaign to find an Environmental Hero in your midst. An awards ceremony on Earth Day would be a nice culmination of the contest or campaign and would work nicely with your social media efforts.
Idea #5: Go big, like Festival-Big!
The ultimate proclamation of environmental stewardship can take place with an Earth Day Festival at your school or workplace. Invite local 'green' merchants and restaurants, as well as municipal services, to come set up a table to showcase their green products and services. Organize some capacity-building and awareness-raising workshops. There can be participant prizes donated from companies or sponsored by your group. In fact, all the ideas presented above could blend into an Earth Day Festival for a big bang.
Do you have any favorite Earth Day activities or ideas that you can share? We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences! Email us at email@example.com